The tax charged on revenue from rented residential properties has been reduced from 35% to 15%.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said the measure was announced in the last Budget and was being brought in now, backdated to January 1.

He said the measure was aimed at reducing tax evasion by encouraging landlords to declare the income they made form rented properties. It would also encourage more people to rent vacant dwellings. The tax would be collected as a withholding tax.

Prof Scicluna said that there would also be a one-time arrangement for people who wanted to regularise their position by declaring income from rents which was previously undeclared. 

Such people would need to register their properties with the Inland Revenue Department, declare their income for the past eight years, and then pay two years worth of rent calculated at 15% on the weighted average of eight years.

He warned that people who did not regularise their position and were caught would be charged tax at 35% of their income plus interest and penalties.

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